Horses To Follow » Renard


Renard impressed in winning three handicap chases in the space of just two and a half weeks in November, and he looks capable of progressing again following another good run at Ascot on Saturday in the two-mile-one-furlong handicap chase, albeit in defeat. He got outpaced on the run down to Swinley Bottom, and a slow jump at the sixth didn’t help matters. He was rather squeezed out on the run out of Swinley Bottom and he had to come off the rail, but he got himself back into contention down the side of the course before another slow jump at the third last just halted his progress briefly. He was staying on really well, however, in the home straight, he was closing down King Edmund on the run to the final fence, and he probably would have won but for getting in tight to the last and losing impetus once more. King Edmund jumped the fence fluently and that sealed victory for him, but Renard impressed with the manner in which he ran all the way to the line.

This race was run over two miles and a furlong on soft ground, and it was run at a good pace and in a good time, but the way Renard went through the race suggests strongly that he will benefit from a stiffer test of stamina. He won over nearly two miles and two furlongs at Exeter, a stiff track, on his previous run and stayed on well from the last on that occasion too, and he had plenty of form over further than two miles in France – he actually beat Rubi Light over hurdles over two and a quarter miles when they were both four-year-olds. Interestingly, connections entered him for the December Gold Cup over the extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham, but he didn’t make the cut for that race.

He deserves huge credit for winning his three races in November, as they came at a time when the Venetia Williams horses were really needing a run or two. The yard still hasn’t started firing properly yet, but Renard was the yard’s first winner of the season, and in fact by the time he had completed his hat-trick he was still the only individual winner from the yard for the season. He is only six going on seven, and he can progress again from here once stepped up in trip, a 4lb rise is fair as, even if he had jumped the last he would have got much closer, if not won, and so would have faced a much stiffer rise. He is still just six, this was just his sixth run in Britain, and it is probable that there is even more to come from him stepped up in trip, especially when the yard really starts to get going.

17th December 2011